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My first encounter with Pittyvaich was the 12 Year Old in the Flora & Fauna series, which tasted better than I feared. Pittyvaich didn’t build up a stellar reputation in its 18 years of production (from 1975 to 1993, demolished in 2003). Last yer, Diageo made this 20 Year Old Pittyvaich part of their 2009 Special Releases. It’s distilled in 1989, matured on a refill American oak cask and limited to 6.000 bottles.
The nose is surprisingly fresh and fruity for a 20 year old whisky. After the first nose full of alcohol (57,5% ABV), I get toffee and malt. Rather grassy. Simple. Sweet and fruity (apples & peach), a bit nutty and a touch of olive oil. Adding water makes it very creamy and emphasizes the apples.
The delivery is rather sharp with the grassy element returning on some white pepper. Something metallic as well. Some vanilla and skins of green apples. I would have expected a whisky of 20 years to be somewhat more mellow. Diluting with water makes it significantly creamy. It gets a meaty character with more white fruit.
The finish, medium in length, is wonderfully warm, but somewhat oaky at the end.
This whisky is older than the distillery that produced it. You can still find a bottle for about £125. It’s not earth shattering, somewhat simple – nothing frivolous, but more than okay. Drinkable without, but much better, a splash of water.